Novena in Honor of Blessed John Baptist Vianney

Day 1 – Faith

On this first day of the novena we shall consider the faith of this holy man. A lively faith is necessary in order to please God. We believe every word which God has spoken by His Holy Church. We must practise this faith also in works. Faith without works is dead. Without works it would be only an empty assertion that we believe. In a firm unflinching faith Blessed Vianney lived and died and became a saint.

Prayer for Faith

Pour into my soul, O God, through the intercession of the Blessed Vianney, pastor of Ars, a deep lively heartfelt faith! That faith will be my salvation, as it was the salvation of all the saints who are now in Heaven. Amen.

[Then is said the Litany to the Blessed Vianney and the prayer. In these days of frequent Communion, it were well if Holy Communion could be received at the beginning of the novena and also at the end. Better still, if it could be received every day during the novena.]

Day 2 – Christian Hope

Consider the blessings of Christian hope. It is a trust in God, in His Providence, a lively, filial, trustful submission to the will of God, knowing that God will ordain things to His greater glory and to our spiritual benefit. What consolation is found in a Christian hope! How sweet it is! We cannot be disappointed if we trust in God, Who cannot deceive. Hope is our spiritual life and the principle of our active perseverance in it. How dreary is the world without hope! How glorious life becomes with hope! God puts hope into our hearts.

Prayer for Hope

Give me, O Lord, that hope which raised the spirit of Blessed Vianney, that hope which gave him patience in long suffering. He did all with the hope that Thy glory would be enhanced. Infuse into my heart the desire to do good work for Thy sake.

[Here say the litany and prayer to the Blessed Vianney.]

Day 3 – The Love of God

On the third day we shall consider the love of God. We must love God above all things, live in love, continue in love unto the end. Love the Son of God, Jesus Christ, love the Church, the Spouse of our Lord. The love of God will bring us to Heaven. God will give us everything if we love Him. It is so reasonable to love God; in fact, man is a fool if he does not love God. It is our religion, our happiness and our supreme blessing. It is our very Heaven, here upon earth. The happiness of Heaven, commenced in this world even imperfectly, will be continued for all eternity, if we persevere to the end.

Prayer for the Love of God

O my God, I love Thee with my whole heart, and above all things because Thou, O God, art the Sovereign Good and for Thine own infinite perfections art most worthy of all love.

[Litany and prayer to the Blessed Vianney.]

Day 4 – The Love of Our Neighbor

This day will be given to the consideration of the love which we should have for our neighbor. Let us impress the love of our neighbor deeply on our mind. It is so very important. It is second only to the love of God. You cannot do anything pleasing to God unless you do it out of a motive for the love of God or for our neighbor. Those have been the greatest human beings who loved God above all things and their neighbor as themselves.

Prayer to Obtain the Love of Our Neighbor

My dear Jesus, lover of all mankind, teach me to love my neighbor as Thou didst love even Thine enemies. Blessed Vianney was Thy faithful follower in the practice of this virtue. He loved the souls of men. Let me also imbibe, from a devotion to him, the same love for souls.

[Litany and prayers to Blessed Vianney.]

Day 5 – Humility

The great virtue of our blessed saint was humility. Let us try to imitate and understand this virtue. We will find some good souls who never think much of themselves. They want to be always in the background. They do not want to be considered at all. Nevertheless they are always doing good. These are precious in the sight of God.

Prayer for Humility

O sweet and humble Jesus, give me also the precious virtue of humility, which Thou didst give so abundantly to Thy servant Vianney, so that I also may be pleasing in Thy sight and pleasing before man. No virtue is so attractive as humility. Thou, O Lord, exaltest the humble. To be great in Thy sight and approved by Thee is the object of my desire.

[Litany and prayers to Blessed Vianney.]

Day 6 – Love of Poverty

Love of poverty is an active sincere love. The lack of possessions, the desire not to have any, giving to the poor what we have, or what we do not need, is poverty. Practice self-denial. Save to give to the poor, to build hospitals, orphan asylums, churches. Have Masses said for the poor suffering souls in Purgatory.

Prayer for Poverty

Thou hast said, O Lord, “Blessed is he who understands the poor.” Let me have that knowledge. It is the practical way to show my love for my neighbor in distress. Let me also, like Thyself, be a good Samaritan, doing good and relieving want. Not only should I be poor in spirit, but I must also love to be poor in fact, for the poor are the brethren of Christ.

[Litany and prayers to Blessed Vianney.]

Day 7 – Mortification

This day shall be devoted to the virtue of mortification. Put away the comforts of eating and drinking, the extravagance of living, personal luxuries. Live simply and like a poor man. Be simple in dress, but be well dressed. Be abstemious at your table. Especially guard against over indulgence in drink. Abstemiousness in drink is a very commendable virtue. Deny yourself many things that are unnecessary. Do not yield to all the promptings of the appetite. Be temperate.

Prayer to Obtain the Grace of Mortification

Thou hast commanded the mortification of the flesh from the beginning, O Lord. From the beginning, the desires of the flesh have been the bane of a good life. When shall Thy grace, O Lord, inspire me with some degree of that firmness and faithful adherence to Thee. Suffer not my heart to be overcome by that inconstancy which is so natural to it, nor allow my life to be a perpetual succession of evil practices and infidelities. Grant that my heart may be all Thine, at all times and forever. And that by mortification I may merit eternal happiness.

[Litany and prayers to Blessed Vianney.]

Day 8 – Prayer

We must pray all the time. Every act must be a prayer. The spirit of prayer must be in our whole Christian life. We must pray if we want to do anything great in the spiritual life. A life without prayer is a most barren period of time. Prayer is the intimate converse with God. Our Saint was always intimately united to God in prayer. Blessed Vianney never ceased praying.

Prayer for a True Spirit of Devotion

How sweet, O Lord, to breathe only Thy love and to say to Thee with my whole heart: My God and my all! Grant that words may enter into my soul! do then, impress them upon my mind and my heart so that I may understand and practice them. Let me be devoted to prayer. Make it a delight to converse with Thee. Let me pray for everything I need and before every undertaking, so that with prayer every work may begin and with prayer be happily ended. Thou art my Saviour. May I possess Thee in prayer here on earth and mayest Thou be my portion for all eternity in Heaven.

[Litany and prayers to Blessed Vianney.]

Day 9 – Devotion to Mary

On the last day of the novena we must try to learn and begin to cultivate a devotion, which appeals to the heart of every Catholic, that is, the devotion to the Mother of God. What is a Catholic life without love to Mary! How dark and dreary is a life without the spiritual consolation of the Communion of the Saints! In short, have a great devotion to Mary. Pray to her with confidence like one that has a right to be heard and a right to address her. Love Mary with the sincerest affection. Let not a day pass without having said a prayer to her. Say your beads every day. Wear the scapular in her honor. Go to Confession and Holy Communion on her feast days. Perform many little acts of religion from the motive of love to the Blessed Virgin.

Prayer to Mary

My dear Saviour, Jesus Christ, Son of the Virgin Mary, grant me the grace to love Thy mother. This grace is such a distinction, a grace of salvation, which I must have by all means. Hail holy queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn thou, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after our exile show unto us the fruit of thy blessed womb, O most loving, most pious and sweet virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

[Litany and prayers to Blessed Vianney.]

Prayer to Saint Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney

I thank You, my God, for the grace of this novena to Your blessed servant, Vianney. I beg of You, first, that I may learn the singular virtues of this blessed man—his piety, mortification, poverty, love of God and our neighbor. Let me become, in this way, a useful member of the human family. I have, O Lord, prayed to Thy blessed servant Vianney, that he may pray for me and my intention. (Here mention the intention.)

Many graces have been known to have been granted to those who have prayed with this spirit. Even miracles have been wrought by Thee, O God, in approval of this devotion. Encouraged by the merits of the life of the Blessed Vianney, I beg Thee, O Lord, to obtain for me the grace and favor of this novena, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.